HAILSTONES the size of "golf balls" have damaged locals homes and businesses, after a dangerous storm cell swept across the Tamworth region on Wednesday afternoon.
Local branches of the State Emergency Service (SES) responded to 158 calls for help in Tamworth and Armidale, in the hours after rain and hail smashed the cities at about 3pm.
Tamworth was the "hardest hit", with about 90 requests for assistance.
Local Rural Fire Service and Fire and Rescue NSW crews teamed up with SES volunteers to keep everyone safe.
SES Deputy Zone Commander for the region Superintendent Mitch Parker said high on the priority list were two nursing homes and two childcare centres with roof damage.
"It was a huge storm, the biggest problem was hail blocking gutters and rainfall backfilled into ceilings ... and they started to collapse or sag," he told the Leader.
He said it was a great outcome that among the deluge and damaging downpours, no one was reported injured or needed assistance from paramedics.
About 12 inter-agency teams were stationed in Tamworth and worked through to midnight to get things patched up.
They were back at it first thing this morning, with dozens more jobs on the docket.
Most of the requests were about roof damage and trees over roads.
Superintendent Parker said he was impressed at how staff, volunteers and community members pulled together as the storm raged.
"It was so positive to see such cohesive teamwork out there, to help the community when they needed it the most," he said.
"The community was great because there were so many jobs to get through and only so many operators, and when we asked for patience, they were patient, and it was really good considering the circumstances."
Members of the public were even phoning in to emergency services offering to "spontaneously" lend a hand.
People ventured out of the comfort of their homes to help resupply units and volunteers.
Tamworth was hit hard by huge hailstones, but rain also poured from the ominous skies.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) weather station at Tamworth airport clocked 12mm of rain in the 24 hours to 9am on Thursday.
But, the storm brought patchy falls, and locals took to social media to report their rain totals.
One Hillvue resident recorded close to 70mm of rain on Wednesday, and one East Tamworth resident tipped more than 35mm out of the backyard gauge.
There was reportedly about 50mm dumped on Kootingal, 30mm at Calala, and 20mm at a home in Oxley Vale.
The BoM weather station at the head of the Peel River notched up a further 24.8mm of rain on Wednesday.
The forecast for Tamworth today is cloudy and rainy, with the chance of a thunderstorm predicted for Thursday afternoon, and a high chance of showers.
Superintendent Parker said with more rain on the radar for Thursday afternoon, it was a timely reminder for people to be cautious when driving around in bad weather.
A major rescue took place on Monday when a man was trapped on the roof of his car, after trying to drive through floodwater and being swept down Goonoo Goonoo Creek.
Burgmanns Lane remains closed after the storms and rain, as water continues to gush over the main causeway.
Armidale was also battered by rain and hail on Wednesday, and a further eight SES crews were on deck.
Armidale City Public School advised parents last night that it will be closed today due to hail damage.
"The school has been impacted to an unknown extent by hail damage [on Wednesday evening]," a spokesperson said, via the school Facebook page.
The BoM station in Armidale notched an official 33.8mm of rain in the 24 hours to 9am Thursday.